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About Galway


Located on the west coast of Ireland, in an area often lauded as one of the most beautiful in the world, Galway is a historic city that is now known as Ireland's cultural heart. The town is full of historic buildings dating from medieval times to the present and over 50 performance venues, offering a fascinating day's exploring.

Away from the city, the wonderfully rugged Irish coastline beckons. Why not wander the costal paths, in awe of the jaw-dropping scenery and wildlife that make this part of the world such a natural wonder

 

Shore excursions in Galway

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Discover Kylemore Abbey

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 5¾ hours

Kylemore Abbey, owned by the Irish Benedictine nuns, is a wonderful place to visit and offers both history and beauty.

Setting off from Galway, your drive will take you into the magnificent Connemara countryside, with its rugged landscape that offers a contrast of scenery and outstanding natural beauty.

Your destination is the delightful Kylemore Abbey, which was originally built in 1868 and today is home to the Irish Benedictine nuns. Nestled amongst a backdrop of beautiful countryside, the abbey is often seen as one of Ireland’s most romantic buildings.

A inside self-guided visit of the abbey will allow you to discover its fascinating background and history. You’ll also have some free time to explore the Victorian gardens that have been fully restored by the Benedictine nuns. The gardens are a lovely oasis of splendour with a variety of lovely features, including 2 glasshouses.

During your visit, a cup of tea or coffee and a delicious scone will be served in the on-site café.

On the return drive to Galway, you can sit back and relax and take in the surrounding scenery once more.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive to Kylemore Abbey is around 1½ hours each way. The time spent at Kylemore is around 2½ hours. This tour involves around 1 hour of walking, which includes steps. Walking during free time in the gardens is at the discretion of the passenger. The garden terrain is uneven in parts which some slight inclines. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Galway through the Ages

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

A delightful insight into Galway life and landscapes. Visit a charming working farm and stop for tea, before visiting Galway City.

Travel along the shores of the famous Galway Bay to the picturesque town of Kinvara. A stop will be made here to photograph the idyllic Dunguaire Castle. This small, but perfectly formed 17th century castle, perched on a rocky promontory, is the most famous landmark in Kinvara.

A highlight of your tour will be a visit to Rathbaun Farm, which has been in operation for over 200 years and covers 80 acres of land. On arrival, you’ll be met by the farmer who’ll take you on an interesting tour and demonstrate the agility of his faithful dog as he herds sheep. There may also be a chance to hand-feed the lambs.

After your visit, you’ll be welcomed into the cosy thatched farmhouse to enjoy some delicious freshly made scones served with cream, jam and tea. Savour the smells of the turf fire as your hosts provide a glimpse into the daily workings of an Irish farm.

After your farm visit, you’ll travel to Galway City for a drive around the historic landmarks. A stop will be made at the impressive stone Galway Cathedral for photos, before returning to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. There is some uneven terrain at the farm, however the main paths are all wheelchair accessible. Any walking is at passengers' own discretion. Galway City is small and mainly pedestrianised, the drive through the city is brief.

Scenic ‘Quiet Man’ Country

Activity lowRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Combine a scenic countryside drive with a visit to scenic Cong, famous for being the location for ‘The Quiet Man’ film.

Embark on a journey through the picturesque countryside of County Galway, passing by rolling farmland, lakes and quaint villages and crossing the border to County Mayo, before arriving in the pretty village of Cong.

Cong is home to the stately Ashford Castle and the ruins of the 12th century Cong Abbey. This quaint town found fame as the scenic location for the 1951 film ‘The Quiet Man’, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The village hasn’t changed much since ‘The Quiet Man’ was filmed over 60 years ago, and you can still see the buildings made famous by the film such as Dan Tobin’s cottage, Dannaghers farmhouse, the Reverend Playfair’s home and Pat Cohan’s Bar.

There will be 1 hours’ free time to explore the village at your leisure. Maybe visit the historic Cong Abbey ruins or ‘The Quiet Man’ Cottage Museum, which contains plenty of film memorabilia or just wander around the village and imagine yourself in one of the film’s scenes.

After your free time, you’ll be taken to the grounds of Ashford Castle, where refreshments of scones, tea or coffee will be served in the homely thatched cottage which faces the castle. There will be a chance to photograph this magnificent castle, which has now been converted to a hotel, before returning to Galway.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. Any walking is at passengers’ own discretion. Please remember to carry euros for any additional purchases. The original Quiet Man Cottage is now a ruin but can be seen in the village.

The Burren and Aillwee Cave

Activity medium

Duration: 3¾ hours

Discover the intriguing landscape of the Burren and its fascinating underground world on a tour of the enchanting Aillwee Cave.

The Burren is famous internationally for its beautiful limestone landscapes, remarkable flora and rich archaeological heritage. Centuries of weathering has produced a terrain of fissured limestone pavements, disappearing lakes, terraced mountains and underground cave systems, the most famous of which is Aillwee Cave.

Aillwee Cave is one of Ireland’s oldest caves and is a stunning creation of nature formed by the melted waters of a prehistoric ice age. Join a guided tour into the dramatic limestone underworld. As you stroll leisurely through the beautiful caverns and over bridged chasms, you’ll discover strange rock formations, an underground river, active stalactites, a waterfall and the extinct brown bear bones in the bear den.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Care must be taken inside the cave as there are some low ceilings, over hanging rocks, inclines and declines in low lit conditions. There are numerous steps to negotiate. The temperature inside the cave is cooler than outside and areas of the cave may be wet due to the waterfall, so warm, layered clothing and enclosed footwear with grip is recommended. Please remember to carry euros for any additional purchases.

The Majestic Cliffs of Moher

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 6 hours

Galway is the gateway to beautiful countryside, the rugged Atlantic coast and the majestic Cliffs of Moher.

Take a journey to the Cliffs of Moher, which will take you through charming towns and ‘The Burren’ region, where you can admire the unique natural beauty of limestone landscapes.

Your first stop will be at the small harbour village of Ballyvaughan, where you’ll enjoy a morning cup of tea or coffee and a delicious scone at a local hotel. Afterwards, there will be a brief opportunity to enjoy some free time, before continuing your drive to the Cliffs of Moher.

As you arrive at the Cliffs, you’ll see why they are one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. The rugged cliffs rise from the Atlantic Ocean to a height of nearly 200 metres and extend for a distance of 8 kilometres. As well as admiring the outside views, you’ll also visit the Atlantic Edge visitor’s centre which is housed within an underground building. Here you can see images, exhibits and interactive displays and there is an audio visual theatre that allows visitors to experience life at the cliff face both above and below sea level.

Your tour will round off with the return drive to Galway, where you can enjoy the lovely scenery once more.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey to Moher Cliffs is around 1¾ hours, and the return drive is around 1¼ hours. This tour involves around 1 hour of walking over varying terrain including some inclines and steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

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